Picture: The Tower_Tarot. The Tower card means Disaster…
A fellow artist told me the other day that after all her efforts – hard and committed work, hundreds of applications for a grant or award or artist residency, hundreds of portfolio proposals deposited for gallery and committe inspection – she achieved: Nothing. She is still unknown, unconnected and – unfortunately – penniless. I believe that failure urges us to take a look at our actions and correct them; and I asked her: “Why do you expect to increase your chances for success, while you address the same group of people, try to promote/sell your work through the same group of agents and communicate your message through the same networks?” There is a big market out there full of people who do not even know how much they like your work, because they are not part of the market you are targeting so far.
There are partners to address other than the usual selling agents and there are certainly more synergies to dare.
There are more communication channels to send your message apart from the ones that address the same group you are appealing to so far. Artists have the gift of imagination to envision synergies and answer the question: “Who else may benefit from my concept/message/work?”
If you find the answer, then you have the key to open the door to more potential clients, more venues to show your work and more professional recognition. If asked which one of the following they would like to achieve: Power, Fame or Money? most artists (replying honestly) will tell you: all of the above.
However, planning for Power – being somebody who can influence the trends of your discipline – is different from planning for Fame – being somebody recognized as an agent of innovation in your discipline, is different from planning for Money – being somebody who can live well from her/his work. Power may mean that you work with or befriend people who you do not really want to. Power matches well with money, but not necessarily with Fame (artist’s recognized value). Money may mean that you work on things you do not really want to. You may earn money from your work, but this does not necessarily mean you have the power to influence anything in your field nor that your work is considered to be excellent, innovative, inspiring etc. out there
Fame may mean that you break ties you do not really want to do, in order to free yourself from fashions and peer pressure and create. You may have a name already for your visionary work and be admired for it. But you may also get no assignment, no awards, no jobs from the people holding the strings of how the art market moves, because you do not follow the rules, nor earn money from your admirable, though not sellable, work. If you are interested in our Open Call for our Munich Jewellery Week show and the Awards, contact firstname.lastname@example.org